COUNCILMAN PAUL RIDDICK TO PRESENT VIRGINIA LIBRARY DIRECTORS' ASSOCIATION AWARDS TO NORFOLK PUBLIC LIBRARY
Norfolk, VA (June 2, 2006) - An awards ceremony at Horace C. Downing Branch Library on Thursday, June 8 at 11:00 a.m. will take on added significance as Councilman Paul Riddick presents Norfolk Public Library with two awards from the Virginia Public Library Directors' Association.
Norfolk Public Library's Horace C. Downing Branch Library received the 2006 Outstanding Facility Serving a Population over 100,000 award and the entire NPL system received the 2006 Outstanding Young Adult Program Serving a Population over 100,000 award for its After School Connection Initiative.
Horace C. Downing earned the Outstanding Facility award by implementing procedures that transformed the low performing library to an extremely busy library making it vital to the community. Instead of trying to be a small version of the main library, the library has become a "convenience library," focusing on the needs and wants of area residents. The Library spent many hours taking old, unused books off the shelves to make room for new and dynamic materials. The Teen Zone now has a table for group study and a couch where teens can relax and socialize after school. Most important, the library more than doubled the number of computers, decreasing the waiting time for residents. In addition, the DVD/VHS collection was updated and doubled in size to meet community needs.
The revitalization of Horace C. Downing has allowed the library to use its space more efficiently. "With less clutter, the Library feels larger, more open and more accessible," says Robert Harrison, Horace C. Downing Branch Library manager. Harrison also implemented a different approach to displaying library material. The new approach has made it easier for everyone to find books and discover resources they didn't know existed.
Norfolk Public Library also received the 2006 award for Outstanding Young Adult Program Serving Population over 100,000. The award honored NPL's After School Initiative. This project was developed to address the needs of working parents and their children by giving Norfolk's youngest citizens a safe place to go and do homework after school. All Norfolk Public Library locations will provide literacy support, specialized programs, computers, and constructive activity for children visiting the library after-school. In addition, children receive professional guidance to support research and to successfully complete their homework. The library is implementing the following actions to make this Initiative successful:The Virginia Public Directors' Association also honored NPL with the Outstanding Staff Development Award for its Fall Institute 2005- The Early Years are Forever - The Importance of Early Childhood Education. The Fall Institute was developed to offer all library staff training on a wide variety of issues: on-line databases, policy writing, children's literature, early literacy, and more.
Councilman Paul Riddick represents Ward 4 and has been instrumental in creation of after-school learning resource centers in his area. For additional information on the June 8 presentation, call Horace C. Downing Branch Library at 441-1968.